July 23, 2024

Members of Congress Want to See Full Funding for FSMA

Members of the U.S. House Roda DeLauro (D-CT) and Sam Farr (D-CA) sent a letter last week to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ask them to fully fund the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) rather than relying on user fees. In the fiscal year 2015 budget, the FDA requested $1.48 million for food safety, which includes $255 million in proposed user fees.

CongressTheir letter states that “FDA must have the resources to retrain the existing inspection workforce, hire new staff, and contract with states to leverage their inspection forces. Continuing outbreaks of foodborne illness undermine consumer confidence and greatly concern those of us who supported FSMA and want it to be implemented expeditiously.”

The major rules in FSMA are going to be complete and in force in the next year, and FDA will need more money to implement those rules. Congress rejected the Administration’s last five requests to implement FSMA through user fees. DeLauro and Farr want to see a request for a much higher budget for FMSMA.

In a second letter to Shaun Donovan, Director of OMB, DeLauro and Farr stated, “it is imperative that OMB expeditiously review the re-proposals related to produce safety and preventive controls for processed foods, the pending re-proposal of the draft rule on the Foreign Supplier Verification Program for imports, and the final rules when they are ready so they are released for comment later early this fall.” The letter adds that food industry needs “regulatory certainty”, and consumers need those regulations to be in place and enforced as soon as possible to protect the nation’s food supply.

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